Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Birdsall Birds

Well, Spring is here and many birds can be found in backyards everywhere.

I understand that this first photo is not of a bird, but it helps lead into photos that I will be posting of birds in my own backyard.

In this post I will also make some corrections to two previous Birds All March on the Battlefield posts.

First off, I have recently set up a new bird feeder system in my backyard. I had seen, and heard, many birds in the trees around my house, and have been able to see them with binoculars, but I wanted to be able to get some good photos of them.

One of my brothers has a feeder system in his yard and really sang its praises.

The system is the Advanced Pole System from Wild Birds Unlimited.

Just above the Advanced Pole System sticker, you can see
where the upper and lower poles join together.

The Basic Setup has the pole that corkscrews into the ground, which is then supported by two intersecting stabilizer bars. A second pole is then set atop the first, a two hook attachment goes on top of the upper pole, and a Chickadee Finial caps off the top of the set.

They have many other extras/attachments for this system, such as the Squirrel Baffle (seen in the photo below).

I can say, I watched a couple of squirrels attempt to climb the pole, in order to raid the bird feeders, only to be stopped by the baffle. They came back, over and over, but each time they realized they could only go so far.

A few times, they seemed to look at me with complete disdain, for having put such a device between them and the delicious seed above.

The system is not cheap; however, my brother has had his for a couple of years and said it is just as good as the day he set it up. The owner of the store, where I got mine, said he has had his set up for about 10 years. Also, a bunch of their stuff has lifetime warranties on them.

One of the first birds I have had on the feeder is the Northern Mockingbird.

Northern Mockingbird posing with the Chickadee Finial,
atop the Advanced Pole System
According to my Field Guide to Birds, a recording of a Mockingbird, in Massachusetts, revealed songs of 36 different species...AMAZING.

As a correction to the Birds All March on the Battlefield 9-16 post, I had incorrectly identified one of the birds as the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. After taking the shot, above, of the Mockingbird, I had discovered that the two species are very similar. However, the Mockingbird is approx. the size of a Robin, while the Gnatcatcher is smaller than a Sparrow. I hadn't posted a Mockingbird on the Battlefield yet, so the count is still accurate.

Speaking of number of birds on the Battlefield, I am also making a correction to the number of species that I had heard were on the Battlefield. In my first Birds All March on the Battlefield post, I had stated that a website reported approx. 1,000 different species on the Gettysburg Battlefield. Well, in my attempts to gather more information, I came across an actual study that records the number of species to approx. 150. That's a huge difference, and a relief to me, especially since I was going to try to get photos of as many of them as I could.

The study I am referencing is the Comprehensive Inventory Program for Birds at Six Pennsylvania National Parks. They have a ton of information in the report, if you are interested.

Look forward to more bird photos from the Battlefield, as well as from my own backyard.


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